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Xenophilia: The preference for members of an outgroup

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This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does not have to be amicable, and in fact can be

This paper explores the idea of xenophilia and the circumstances under which it may occur. Xenophilia is the preference for an outgroup member over an ingroup member. This preference does not have to be amicable, and in fact can be exploitative under certain circumstances. Previous research indicates that xenophobia is much more common, but a few researchers have found support for the existence of xenophilia. To experimentally test the circumstances under which xenophilia might occur, I conducted a survey-based experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. This consisted of directed visualizations that manipulated participant goal (self-protection vs. mate acquisition) and the resources offered by both a fictitious outgroup and the hometown ingroup, followed by measures of ingroup/outgroup preference. I hypothesized that when the resource offered by the group addressed the participants’ goal, they would prefer the group with the “matched” resource—even if it was the outgroup providing that resource. My hypothesis was not supported, as the univariate analysis of variance for preference for the outgroup was not significant, F (2, 423) = .723, p = .486. This may have occurred because the goal manipulations were not strong enough to counteract the strong natural preference for ingroup members.

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2018-05

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Personal Memories and Social Associations: How Positive Emotions Influence the Activation of Implicit Prejudices

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab and White individuals with "good" and "bad" evaluations. We hypothesized that nurturant love would increase the strength of negative evaluations of Arab individuals and positive evaluations of White individuals, whereas awe would decrease the strength of these negative evaluations when compared to a neutral condition. However, we found that both awe and nurturant love increased negative implicit prejudices toward Arab individuals when compared to the neutral condition.

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2018-05

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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

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Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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2014-05

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The True Costs of Theft: An Evolutionary Psychology Study of Stealing Among Male ASU Students

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Regular instances of employee and petty theft seem to suggest that stealing is common. Certain situations make stealing an advantageous opportunity, and studies show that most people will steal under the right conditions. However, these "right conditions" vary widely among

Regular instances of employee and petty theft seem to suggest that stealing is common. Certain situations make stealing an advantageous opportunity, and studies show that most people will steal under the right conditions. However, these "right conditions" vary widely among individuals and are a combination of biological, social, psychological, and situational factors. In an attempt to better understand the rationality of stealing, our research team applied evolutionary psychology principles to a social experiment involving gift card theft. To find trends in how people will steal when given the opportunity, we attempted to create these "right conditions" (which we believed would encourage theft by minimizing cost) so that we could measure how a random sample of subjects (male students on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University) responded to variation in benefit. We predicted that if the cost was kept low, and if some gift cards conferred greater advantages than others (by possession greater value or utility), then the more advantageous gift cards would be stolen at a higher frequency from the sample pool than less advantageous ones. The results show that our assumptions were wrong. Theft almost never occurred and the few cards that were stolen were not the more "rational" choices as predicted. The experimental design indicates a flawed understanding of how the subjects weighed the benefits and costs of stealing gift cards. One major issue is that we failed to consider pro-social behavior as the norm. We also neglected the evolutionary benefits of cooperative behavior while overemphasizing the evolutionary benefits of theft. A more thorough and nuanced examination of the literature must be performed to avoid these fundamental flaws in the experiment in the future. The experiment also suffered from issues which might have inadvertently discouraged theft including the location, population, presence of other students, and time given to contemplate theft. If we wish to truly examine trends in theft to see if there is a trend towards the rational theft model we proposed, we must work with a population in which individuals already have a propensity to steal, the benefit is sufficiently high, and social pressures to be cooperative are low.

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2015-05